Bedford based photographer, Tony Margiocchi, has captured these photos of two new baby wolverines being shown off by their mum at the nearby ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
While the sex of the kits is not yet known, they’ve been nicknamed Logan and Hugh for now, in honour of their superhero namesake.
The kits were born to three-year-old mum, Fi and ten-year-old dad, Puff, on 18 February as part of a European-wide breeding programme and are rare additions to the species in the UK.
Wolverines, also known as “gluttons” or “skunk bears”, are decreasing in the wild so the arrival of the pair is of global significance.
Team Leader at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Donovan Glyn, said: “We were delighted when we discovered that Fi had given birth to twins last month and have been carefully observing mum and her babies.
“We’re one of only three zoos in the UK to look after wolverines, and we are so excited to have our first ever wolverine kits born here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
“They have not yet opened their eyes but will do any day now, and we’ve seen Fi taking meat for the kits to lick and try (which is) the beginning of the weaning process.”
“As we would expect, Fi has been a very protective mum, staying by their side and ensuring that no-one, including their dad Puff, gets too close! Puff, in turn, has been very respectful, keeping his distance and letting them have some space.
“Visitors to the Zoo might be lucky enough to see them, even at this early stage, because Fi has started to pick up each one in her mouth and take them out into the paddock…
“By Easter, we expect them to be out and about exploring for several hours a day.”
Fi arrived at at ZSL Whipsnade on September 2018, and keepers soon observed positive signs between her and Puff, including playful chasing around their wooded enclosure.
A new family was by no means guaranteed, however, as female wolverines save implantation of a fertilised embryo until conditions are perfect.